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Association between benzodiazepine use in early pregnancy, miscarriage risk

May 15, 2019

Bottom Line: Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia and mood disorders. This observational study examined the risk of miscarriage associated with their use in early pregnancy by drug class, specific agent and short- or long-acting formulation in about 442,000 pregnancies in Canada from 1998 through 2015. Among the pregnancies, 27,000 (6.1 percent) ended in miscarriage and 1.4 percent of those miscarriages were among women who used benzodiazepines in early pregnancy. The study reports any benzodiazepine use during early pregnancy was associated with increased risk of miscarriage. A limitation of the study is its lack of information on alcohol use by the women, which could have influenced the results. These findings suggest physicians should carefully evaluate the risks and benefits of prescribing benzodiazepines in early pregnancy since alternative treatments exist.

Authors: Anick Berard, Ph.D., Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montreal, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0963)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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JAMA Psychiatry

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